Safaris are not holidays for those looking for a slow-paced sojourn. I’ve been waking up at 4:30 AM every day for our early morning game drives. There was no time for jet lag! In the span of 6 days, we’ve been to two national parks (Pilanesberg, Kruger) and one private game reserve nestled in a sprawling mountain range with lush green foliage (Bongani).
It took me 27 hours to arrive in Cartagena. Originally, I was supposed to arrive at a leisurely pace, mid-Friday on a direct flight from JFK. Angela and I had reserved a street food tour months in advance and I had Google translated dinner reservations to Spanish so that we would arrive with a plan in motion. What transpired was a series of events that led me to toss my head back and laugh because there’s only so much that you can control for, even with the most impeccably detailed planning.
I’ve never been the type of traveler who enjoys going to a resort and laying out under a linen cabana for a week’s time. Since I’ve been the trip planner for my friends and family for as long as I can remember, this is rarely what our travel itineraries look like and I’m happy when everyone leaves with incredible stories from the very private, unique, and off the beaten path experiences that I’m fond of.
Being Vietnamese, France has always played a role in my life. During my grandparents’ generation, you received your education through a French lycée. My Mother attended Marie Curie High School, a school established in 1918 by the French colonial government. My Aunts can still sing French songs when the family gathers around for karaoke. My family celebrated this past Christmas in New York with a delicious Bûche de Noël. We eat baguettes that have evolved to the mouth-watering flavorbomb of julienned carrots, stemmy cilantro, homemade pâte and cold cuts known as banh mi.
Paris, as one can imagine, is home to what can only be described as a mythical paradise turned reality for my aesthetic and sensory consumption. No visit to Paris is complete without enjoying the exquisite pastries, tempting breads, and delicate cakes that leave you enthralled by first encounter.
Regardless of where you are in the world, seaside towns have an indelible and recognizable spirit to them. Sosúa was no exception to this.